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Issue #159: October 15, 2005.


  • Oprah is adding Broadway producer to her long list of achievements.  When The Color Purple the Musical debuts December 1 at the Broadway Theatre Oprah will be there to see what was her film debut come to life on the stage.
  • Continuing with the film to stage theme, Dolly Parton is currently scoring a musical version of her 1980 movie Nine to Five with a Broadway date set for the fall of 2006 or early 2007.
  • It looks like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels took a serious dip in sales during the two-week vacation John Lithgow took in August.  Producers are scrambling to find just the right replacement for Lithgow when his contract expires on January 8.  The rumor mill has them chatting with Kelsey Grammer.
  • The 1980's musical Dreamgirls is heading for the big screen in December 2006.  This groundbreaking original musical debuted on Broadway in December 1982 and played over 1,000 performances closing in August 1985.  Loosely based on the rise of the 60's trio The Supremes, Dreamgirls the film will star Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy.

London's West End

  • Dame Judi Dench is set to return to the West End in a revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever in April at the Royal Haymarket.

Bits & Pieces

  • British playwright Harold Pinter was honoured recently with the 2005 Nobel Prize for literature.  The 75-year-old east Londoner is known for such riveting plays as Betrayal, The Caretaker, No Man's Land, The Homecoming and The Birthday Party.  His talents are not exclusively as a writer, Pinter has made his mark as a director, actor, poet and political activist.

Curtain Call

  • The passing of playwright August Wilson recently, of liver cancer, is the end of an era.  Mr. Wilson wrote a 10-play cycle recording the black experience in 20th-century America.  During this journey we were privileged to have such great works as Fences, The Piano Lesson and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.  His plays were thought provoking, and poetic speaking to the effects of slavery on succeeding generations of black Americans.  It is fitting that shortly after his passing Broadway's Virginia Theatre was rededicated as The August Wilson Theatre.  The public ceremony took place on October 16 celebrating the multi Pulitzer Prize winner.

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